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Oral Surgery Anesthesia

preparing instruments for surgery

At Virginia Advanced Surgical Arts, your comfort and safety is our top priority. That’s why we offer an array of options for anesthesia.

Our highly-trained and experienced oral surgery team works with patients to choose the best approach based on their procedure, needs, and preferences.

Unlike doctors who rely on sedation dentistry — which tends to use inexact oral medication for patient comfort — our oral surgeons are certified to use the full range of anesthetic techniques for our patients.

The Differences Between Sedation Dentistry
And Oral Surgery Anesthesia

Sedation dentistry is a method that practitioners sometimes use to increase patient comfort during dental procedures. It typically involves some type of oral medication for reducing anxiety.

However, sedation dentistry is not as predictable and controllable as the types of anesthesia that oral and maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Vigliante, Dr. Gocke, or Dr. McAdams can provide.

Our oral & maxillofacial surgeons can provide anesthetic options, such as IV sedation, that are more targeted and precise than oral sedation.

Their techniques allow for careful monitoring, and they can deliver the right amount of medication based on a patient’s height, weight, and metabolism. These options also wear off shortly after a procedure ends, so patients should not feel groggy following their visit.

An Overview Of Anesthesia With Virginia
Advanced Surgical Arts

Our patients may receive one or a combination of the following anesthetic options.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is an injectable medication that completely numbs the treatment area. Patients who receive only a local anesthetic remain awake throughout their procedure. They don’t feel pain, but they may sense pressure during their procedure. Every patient receives local anesthesia as part of their treatment.


In certain procedures, like wisdom teeth removal, Dr. Gocke will apply EXPAREL to the surgical site. EXPAREL is a non-opioid, long-lasting pain medication. The anesthetic greatly enhances the patient’s experience after surgery and has the added benefit of limiting exposure to potentially addictive opioids.

Nitrous Oxide

If patients want to relax a little during their procedure, our oral surgeons can provide nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas. This option simply takes the edge off and offers a calming effect without putting you to sleep. Unlike sedation dentistry, however, our surgeons can control the flow of nitrous oxide as well as help patients recover quickly once the procedure ends.

IV Sedation

For procedures such as dental implant placement and bone grafting, our patients typically receive anesthesia through an intravenous line. Our oral surgeons are certified to perform IV anesthesia in-office and carefully monitor patients throughout their treatment.

With this option, patients experience a deep calm similar to twilight sleep, during which they don’t feel or remember anything about their procedure.

Typically, patients come into the treatment room, watch a little TV or Netflix while they breathe in nitrous oxide, and, once they are extremely relaxed, the surgeon starts the IV line and administers the anesthetic. Most patients are surprised at how quickly time passes during their visit.

Afterward, patients move to a separate and private recovery room where they can have heaters and blankets to keep them comfortable. At this point, a family member or other caregiver can join them and wait until they are ready to head home. Patients cannot drive for 24 hours after IV anesthesia.

Common Questions Patients Ask About
Anesthesia And Sedation Dentistry

This anesthetic approach allows different degrees of unconsciousness. You will not be aware of or remember the procedure. It should feel as if only minutes have passed between the time that you walked into the room and the time that you’re ready to go home.

The effects of IV anesthesia should wear off quickly, as our surgeons can control the flow of medication through the line to time it with the end of your procedure. This is one way in which IV anesthesia differs from sedation dentistry.

We are very focused on patient comfort at Virginia Advanced Surgical Associates.

With our anesthetic protocols, most of our patients are numb for 4-8 hours following their procedure and for up to several days with EXPAREL.

Learn more about how our anesthetic options compare to traditional sedation dentistry. Contact Virginia Advanced Surgical Arts’ McLean office at (703) 388-2805, Reston office at (571) 595-3223, or Leesburg office at (703) 723-5366.

Meet Doctor

Craig Vigliante, MD, DMD

Dr. Vigliante became interested in oral surgery after having double jaw surgery for his open bite. Since then, he’s dedicated himself to showing his patients the highest level of care possible. He’s certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and holds medical and dental licenses in Virginia. 

What Our Patients Say


“I felt welcomed and valued from the second I walked in the door to the moment I left. Every person I interacted with- from the front desk staff, to the surgical assistants, and even the doctor himself- was kind, informative, and helpful. I had my wisdom teeth removed on Friday and was back to work with only a mild and easily manageable headache on Monday. They gave clear instructions on how to prevent infection and dry socket, and even called to check up on me the day of and week after my procedure! I strongly recommend this office to anyone who is searching for the services they offer.

Jacquelyn Candito


“Everyone was super nice, friendly, and courteous. The office is clean and modern. Everyone was professional and seemed pretty organized. I got to watch Netflix laying down while I waited as well. The staff was nice enough to even switch it to a show I recommended!! Also, there are snacks and drinks available for your drivers waiting on you. As someone who is wary of going to the dentist, it was a great experience and I’d recommend this place! Cute valentines day decorations when I was there too!”

Amy Vu

Experienced Oral Surgeons Serving the DC Metro Area


Dr. Vigliante, Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams are board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons thoroughly qualified to perform complex restorative surgical procedures, no matter the circumstance, for patients in Northern Virginia and Maryland. Their experience and training have given them an unmatched skill set balanced between art and science. You can be confident in choosing Virginia Advanced Surgical Arts for your oral surgery needs.